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Rivers of Steel Hires new Vice President & Chief Operations Officer

By September 23, 2020December 13th, 2021Press Room

Rivers of Steel Hires Amy Baldonieri as new Vice President & Chief Operations Officer

Homestead, PA (September 23, 2020)—Rivers of Steel is excited to announce that Amy Baldonieri has filled the position of Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. Her 25 years of experience serving nonprofits have led her across the globe and back again.

A Latrobe (Westmoreland County) native, Baldonieri returned from Italy to accept this position. She had served as the director of development at The American University of Rome. Before that, the role of director of university advancement at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary lured her overseas and away from a corporate, foundation, and government relations position at Chatham University.

Rivers of Steel first had the opportunity to collaborate with Amy during her tenure as the director of development and finance at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, which lasted from 2001 through 2013.

“After four years in Europe and a lot of exhilarating and crazy experiences I’ve had – like crawling around archaeological digs and fighting for academic freedom in Hungary, to name a few.  I still look back on a partnership I had with Rivers of Steel while working at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art as the highlight of my career,” said Baldonieri. “It tied in art and music, two of my passions, to my deep sense of identity as the grandkid of immigrant steelworkers and coal miners who literally built our nation.”

“Now, more than ever, that heritage needs to be preserved,” Baldonieri continued. “I took this job because I want to be a part of preserving it and promoting it and teaching it to those too young to remember or understand its importance.  When I found out I got the job, not even my view of the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica could make me reconsider coming home.  And I realized I wasn’t just coming home to Pittsburgh and our family and friends, but I was coming home to Rivers of Steel.”

“Since I’ve arrived, I’ve told friends and colleagues that I get the same sense of wonder and awe looking at the Carrie Furnaces as I did when looking at the Colosseum in Rome or Notre Dame in Paris or any number of ancient monuments. They think I’m crazy, but it’s true.  Carrie—and our other sites—might not be as old as those landmarks, but in my mind, it is every bit as important, and I want others to feel that awe and wonder too.”

In her new role as Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Rivers of Steel, Amy Baldonieri will oversee the daily operation of the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation, including finances, budgets, grants, projects, programs, policies, and general business practices, among other duties.

Jeffrey T. Leber, who retired at the end of June after nearly 20 years of service to Rivers of Steel, had filled the role of VP/COO.

“It is tough to say “goodbye” to a person like Jeff,” said August Carlino, president and chief executive officer of Rivers of Steel. “He will always be such an ingrained part of Rivers of Steel.  His work with me and for the organization has been instrumental in our growth and success over the years.  We wish him well and are jealous of his retirement.”

“As impossible as it would be to exactly replicate Jeff, we are thrilled and excited to have Amy Baldonieri now in the position of Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Rivers of Steel,” Carlino continued.  “Amy adds an entirely new dimension to this position and our staff.  She is a world-renowned development and fundraising professional and has exceptional experience in operations and organizational management.  Her ties to southwestern Pennsylvania have enabled her to step right into the position – which is a great comfort to Rivers of Steel and our partners in the region.  We welcome Amy and are excited to have her on the team.”

Among Baldonieri’s first tasks is the management of Rivers of Steel’s Mini-Grant program, whose application window is open to local nonprofits and municipalities through October 15, 2020.

Amy and her husband Ken (along with two world-traveling cats) are settling in, and when the weather cooperates, she commutes by bike to Rivers of Steel’s offices in Homestead. She is still waiting for her e-bike and other worldly possessions to arrive from Italy after clearing customs.

Here she is with her traditional bike at the Pump House in Munhall. Image by Richard Kelly Photography for Rivers of Steel.

Amy BaldonieriAbout Rivers of Steel
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical and 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.


Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing

Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120